Israel continues to send a clear message that Iranian military buildup in Syria will not be tolerated
The UN Security Council met yesterday evening to discuss America’s recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli sovereign territory. At the meeting, the Syrian representative railed against the decision, suggesting that America offer up to Israel the state of North Carolina instead of the strategic plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He did not explain why out of all fifty states North Carolina was so honored, but he did mention that as he was talking Israel was bombing an area near Aleppo in northwestern Syria, an ancient city that is some 500 Km (300 miles) distant from the Golan Heights. Ironically, the gentleman from Syria was so concerned with defending Syrian sovereignty over an area that is filled with ruins of two thousand year old synagogues and which Syria used to relentlessly shell Israeli villages around the Sea of Galilee that he neglected to mention something. That something was the fact that the installations Israel was attacking in Syria belonged to a completely different country: Iran. A country that, like Russia, was granted extensive extra-territorial rights in Syria by a Syrian regime that was hated by its own people and needed to be propped up on the bayonets of Russian and Iranian mercenaries.
Perhaps the Syrian regime’s quest for territorial sovereignty should start with asking the vast number of Iranian and Russian troops, paramilitaries, and spies to go back home. Perhaps it should then continue to the cancellation of leases granted to Moscow for its massive naval base in Latakia and equally massive air base in Hmeimim. Finally, Syria could consider respecting the sovereignty of its smaller neighbor to the southwest, Lebanon and withdraw from it its military and civilian personnel as it has been repeatedly asked to do by the Lebanese government.
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The truth is that Syria is a failed country in the mold of Afghanistan. A country that is being torn asunder by the worst actors on the world stage: Iran, Russia, and Turkey. A country that has just had a civil war which the ruling Allawite (a Shia sect) minority led by the murderous Al-Assad family would have surely lost, had it not been propped up by Iran and Russia in exchange for giving them free reign to use Syrian territory for aggression against Israel and Western interests in the Eastern Mediterranean alike. In its strikes against Iranian military targets in Syria, Israel is not attacking Syria, though the two countries are still technically at war. It is attacking a country that has declared its sacred mission the annihilation of Israel, its effacement from the face of the Earth. There can be no more clear act of self-defense against imminent aggression than Israeli actions against Iranian interests, no matter where they may be located.
The Golan Heights have over three thousand years of Israelite and Jewish history, which makes them Israeli by divine right. Once Syria, between the years 1948 when Israel was reborn as a modern state and 1967 when the Heights were liberated from Syria, chose to use the strategic plateau for unprovoked and indiscriminate shelling of Israeli civilians, it gave up any legal rights to sovereignty over that territory that it may have previously possessed.
The future of Syria as a sovereign state is very much in doubt; the future of the Golan Heights is not. They will always be an integral part of a free, prosperous, and sovereign Israel.
Good for Israel. The only serious democracy in the region, and only one of the very few real democratic allies left to the US in the world today.